Wednesday, March 30, 2011

We are back from Cooks!

Briley had a 1:45 appointment at Cooks today to start Interim Maintenance I phase of treatment. All was going well this morning before we left until Briley over heard us talking about going to Ft. Worth. She's smart and has it figured out that trips to Ft. Worth are no fun. She whined a good bit about not wanting her port accessed. I don't blame her, especially at her age and not completely understanding the reasoning for it. We arrived in Ft. Worth a little early, so we first stopped by the Ronald McDonald House to drop off 4 grocery sacks full of can tabs that many folks have been collecting for the house. This was the 3rd time we have dropped off that many tabs! The folks there were very appreciative of them and it will go to good use! Then it was off to the clinic. Everything went as planned. Her counts look great! She did cry during port access and then discontinuing it. There is a little playroom in the clinic where the kids play before and during chemo infusion. Briley met a new little friend there that also has leukemia and she is in the D.I. phase of treatment right now. That is Briley's next phase and the one we have been dreading the most, but after talking to the mom of this child, we feel much relieved that the treatment hasn't been to bad for her daughter. She said the only thing that really worried her is when her daughter's tears and urine turned red, but that was normal side effect from a certain chemo. After treatment, we walked over to the hospital to see Lianna and Gracie. They are doing very well and their hair is quickly growing back! It started getting late and we decided to come back home before Briley started experiencing nausea, which has been a non factor at this point. I really wish there was something more we could do for the cancer kids and other seriously ill kids at Cooks. But I've got to remind myself that we are fighting our own battle right now and that God will show us a way when He is ready. Having to go through this with Briley and becoming friends with other parents and hearing their stories has touched us in ways we would have never thought possible pre-cancer. Cancer is ugly, especially when it affects kids. Thank you for your prayers and please say an extra one for all the kids with cancer.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Going to Cooks Tomorrow

Sorry I haven't post more in the last few days. We have been on cruise control without much to report. Briley has been doing great over the past few days! It was wonderful not having to go back to Cooks last week and everything has been pretty much normal. But the reality of cancer will set back in tomorrow when we travel back to Cooks for the next phase of treatment. This phase will last 2 months and she will be getting treatments at Cooks every 10 days. One of the chemo's she will be getting is Vincristine. I can't stand saying the name or even typing it out because of it's side effects. It's a true necessary evil. I hope and pray that this round does not affect her counts and walking abilities like it did before. Her walking has improved so much over the past month, but she still cannot run like she could pre-cancer. Her counts have been great and when compared to other kids, she is able to keep and maintain the counts better than most. We pray & hope this stays true during this phase of treatment. We also expect her hair loss to increase and become complete over the course of this phase. I told her that I would shave my head when she loses all of her hair. But I am afraid that mine wouldn't grow back! Honestly, the hair loss is the least of my concerns, but I know how it will affect Briley. She loves her hair! Thank you for the continued support!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

All is well

There is not much to report other than it has been nice not having to go to Ft. Worth this week. I took the kids fishing today and they had a blast! Briley had her little "Tinker Bell" fishing pole yanked out of her hands by a big fish. Luckly the fish came off the hook and I was able to retrieve the rod & reel a foot into the water. Bryson threw more cow patties in the water. We actually brought home a few fish and cooked them for supper tonight! The kids had a blast!
Alicia and I can see a big difference with the kid's allergies and sickness after we ripped the carpet out of the house. Neither one of them has even had a runny nose since we replaced the floors! Before, it seemed like Bryson would have a bad runny nose at least once a week and Briley would every so often and both would run fever at least once a month. It's been such a blessing for us to have both of them well, especially with Briley. We will do what it takes to keep her healthy. Hopefully the hospital visits due to sickness is over with for a while.
Briley will be going back to Cooks on the 30th for the next phase of chemo. The chemo she will be getting affects her walking. We pray that this round won't be anything like before when Briley couldn't walk at all. Thank you for keeping up with us!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

LP went well

Briley's spinal tap went very well and her counts are looking very good also and pretty much back to normal! This was her last spinal tap until later in April. She will be taking home chemo until the 30th of this month, then she starts the next phase. We will enjoy the time away from the hospital for now.
Briley was in such a great mood yesterday, even after the procedure. Normally she cries in the recovery room, but yesterday she was kicked back watching tv and giving her nurse a hard time. After getting home, we picked up Bryson and went to a tank fishing! Briley reeled in a couple of fish, then her and Bryson started having more fun throwing rocks and sticks into the water. Bryson found a cow patty and had to throw it also. I thought it was funny. Alicia freaked out. I told her that's why they make hand sanitizer!
Congrats to Reagan Underwood and his new wife Cindy! They were married this last week in Las Vegas! They were thoughtful and kind enough to take along their Team Briley gear to Vegas and took some awesome pictures with it on! If you get a chance, check out the pictures on my facebook!! Or maybe I can figure out how to post them on here. We thank everyone that keeps Briley in their thoughts and prayers!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ft. Worth tomorrow

We will be heading back to Cook's tomorrow for Briley's last Lumbar Puncture for the month. We will go to the clinic first to have blood work done and then head over to the procedure room. Hopefully she will been done before lunch and it should be the last trip to Ft. Worth until later this month. She end the consolidation phase on the 28th, so I'm assuming we will go back on the 29th for the start of Interim Maintenance.
Briley has been doing very good and is gaining so much strength in her legs! She will start the chemo again during Interim Maintenance that gave her so much trouble with walking. We pray that it won't be so bad since it will only be every 10 days instead of 7 and she will have only 5 treatments in a 2 month span. She has been responding great with treatment and we will keep moving forward!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Just Cruising Along!

Not a whole lot to report on Briley now, which has been good. She has been home and feeling great! Things are almost back to normal. She even asked if she could go back to "school" and play with her friends. For fear of her getting sick, we will keep her out of school until she starts maintenance chemo sometime in October. Maybe she can have a few friends over one day.
Here is her treatment road map. Right now she is the consolidation phase that is 4 weeks long. She will have her last spinal tap on Wed. and she is taking home chemo every night through March 30th.
She will then start Interim Maintenance I that last 8 weeks with 2 chemo treatments every 10 days and 1 spinal tap on day 31
Then she will start Delayed Intensification for 8 weeks. As the name suggest, the treatments will be intense. We are not looking forward to this at all. There will be some new chemos added that have very scary likely side effects such as heart damage. She will be admitted to the hospital for much of this phase.
After that, she will start Interim Maintenance II. It last for 8 weeks and is the exact same treatment plan as IM I.
Hopefully after all of this, she will be on home chemo for the reminder of the time, lasting another 1 1/2 years.
We are just glad that she is having somewhat of a "break" right now and is feeling great! The kids are playing and fighting like old times again, although Briley can't quite hold her own yet against Bryson. Thank you for following along on the blog!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lumbar Puncture went well

Briley was due at the clinic at 7:30 this morning so we left Seymour around 5:00. Her counts look good and the spinal tap with chemo injection went well. After leaving the recovery room, we headed upstairs to visit Lianna who also has leukemia. Briley and Lianna has became friends and I think it would be cool if they keep in contact when they get older. We also stopped by to see Briley's other friend Gracie, but she has a fever and we couldn't go in. Please pray for all of the kids on the 3rd floor at Cook's as they are all fighting cancer.
We made it home around 4:00 exhausted but glad to be home. Briley & Bryson have been playing non stop! Being home has been such a blessing and we appreciate the opportunity to be able to come home because we know it will be getting harder over the next few months. I don't know how we could get through this without the wonderful support we have been getting.
Alicia & I finally went to Mass tonight together for the first time since the diagnoses. Our church support is wonderful and we really appreciate all of the hand shakes and prayers that have been said for Briley. We have seen God's hand in Briley's treatment. Prayers do and always will work. We thank everyone for keeping up with Briley's battle and the encouraging words!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Great day!

Today had to be the best Briley has felt since being diagnosed. She woke up in a good mood and has played all day. She even took a bath without crying! Her and Bryson seem like their old selves again. They play together and then they fight! She is still weak and cannot stand up by herself if she is sitting on the floor. But it has been by far a great day! Plus I think being at home as made a big difference.
It will be hard going back to Ft. Worth tomorrow night. She now knows that going to Ft. Worth is not a good thing. Hopefully we will be able to come back home after the spinal tap on Wed. She is also taking chemo at home every day, but considering, it should be a easy month. Thank you for your prayers and support!

We are home & wonderful benefit!

I apologize for not updating more. It's been a whirlwind of a time the past 2 or 3 days. We are finally living at home now!!! The carpets have been taking out and the laminate floors put back in. The doctor advised that we should do this and we hope that it will cut back on sickness and allergies. The kids are very excited to be home! After laying down for bed Sat. night, I think Bryson figured out that he would be staying & sleeping at home now and he kept saying, "Bubba home, Bubba home"!!! It's been good for Briley also. She has not cried near as much and has been very active.
Thanks to the help of a few friends, we moved nearly everything back into the house on Saturday before the benefit. Briley was determined to go to the benefit so we figured we would take her early figuring there wasn't many people there yet. Boy did we figure wrong! We walked in and we couldn't believe how many people were there! Briley's ANC counts were up very high, which is good, so we let her stay for a little while. Then Alicia and I started getting nervous about her catching a "bug" so we took her home. Anyway, we couldn't have been more pleased with the benefit. The food was great and there was a ton of cool auction items. A lot of people put in hard work, money, and time to make it a big success.
There are way to many people to thank for this and I don't know how to thank everyone, but THANK YOU! A special thanks to the SVFD for cooking and working, my EMS co-workers for helping out were they could, Seymour Hospital for helping organizing and spreading the word, Alicia's co-workers for running the auction, Bubba & Cynthia Stout for going on TV to promote the benefit and getting donated food and cooking, Joey Sturgeon for cooking, Danny Hrncirik for cooking, Lance, Jeremy, Bailey, Chris Clerihew and the band, and to everyone to donated the wonderful auction items. We would also like to thank everyone that came out and ate! I know I missed some folks, I'm sorry, but you know who you are and we appreciate you also. So many people have done extraordinary things for Briley that has been such a blessing. We are very blessed to live in Seymour, TX. THANK YOU!!!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Briley Hostas Benefit & Auction

Briley Hostas Benefit Dinner & Silent Auction
Saturday, March 5th
Cliff Styles Pavilion
1205 Archer Road
Seymour, Texas
4:00-7:00 p.m.

Under the Influence
Chris Clerihew & the Westcoast Turnarounds

hamburgers, beans, potato salad, drink & dessert
$10/plate, kids under 10 $5/plate.
Meal will be served from 5-6:30p.m.
Take-out available.

All auctioned items distributed @ 7p.m.

Restaurant gift certificates (Smokey Bros, Wildcatter, Rock Inn CafĂ©), cakes, home accessories, clothes, luggage, TEXAS RANGER tickets, lots of accessories for girls, lots of jewelry, handmade blanket, Panther football helmets, lots of crosses, Red Wing boots, Ariat bag, $100 Shell gift card, radios, books, tools, furniture, candles, coins, frames, Ghd flatiron, massage gift certificate, color-cut-style gift certificate, hair products, skin products, PRIDE lift chair, CabCam Surveillance Cam, Lots of FISHING SUPPLIES: 2,000 plastic bass baits, 100 crank baits, 19 combo reel/rods, 10 rods, 2 reels, polarized sun glasses, X135 Lorance Sonar fish finder, $100 Rockwall Marine gift certificates, $150 Ford Store Bob & Blake Utter Ford gift certificate, ½ day guide trips on Lake Ray Hubbard & Lake O.H. Ivey, collector model car/truck, knives, hunting/camping items, toys, Echo Weedeater, Echo handblower, Echo chainsaw,  John Deere Push Lawnmower.  There is TOO much to list, but there is something for everyone!

Online Auction:
An online auction has been set-up for out-of-towners.
Auction ID: brileyhostasauction
Auction Password: briley
All proceeds will go to the Hostas Family to help cover expenses!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

We are back home, sort of

Briley did very well over night and was awakened by a breathing treatment. She does not like breathing treatments, especially when they wake her from a dead sleep. Her O2 sats did well overnight and into this morning. We were discharged around 10:30am. Alicia left early to drive back to Seymour for class pictures with her students and to interview with Channel 3 KFDX! Mean while, dad drove down to Ft. Worth to pick me & Briley up. She had a great day. She played a lot at the hospital. Once we got over to Nana's house, Briley and Bryson played like never before. They were so good together!
We will have to go back to Ft. Worth for Briley's next spinal tap and chemo next Wed. We hope that Briley can avoid sickness until then. She is so fragile right now it's almost scary being home.
We appreciate KFDX for the story on the news today and kuddos to the kiddos at the elementary school for the great support shown today! Thanks! I know today was a day that Alicia will not forget!

"Team Briley" on KFDX

"Team Briley" Rallies Around Child Battling Leukemia -

Update Wednesday 3/2

I'm am running a day behind on updating, so we'll do two updates today. Yesterday Briley had a spinal tap with chemo injection and also a couple other chemo treatments. After the procedure, we stayed in recovery a little longer than usual since her O2 was low. She had a couple of breathing treatments until her O's came up enough to go back to the room. She made it through the procedure just fine and had a great day. After getting back to the room, she got out of bed and played basically all day. She also got a good night's rest and we are waiting to be discharged today! The guys working hard putting floors in the house should be done on Friday, but Briley will have to stay in Munday until Sunday at the earliest to give the dust in the house time to settle. Plus will have to move all the furniture back in this weekend. We are really looking forward to all 4 of us being together at home again. It has been a long hard month and a half so far and we will keep moving forward until she wins this battle! We are ready to see everyone on Saturday!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Great Day!

Briley's lumbar puncture and chemo treatment has been resceduled for tomorrow morning at 8:00. If all goes well, then we will be discharged sometime on Thursday. Please pray for her tomorrow.
Briley is becoming her old self again! She has been feeling great, laughing, talking, and walking! She has played with her crafts most of the day and has actually wanted to get down and walk. This has been such a blessing for us.
Her O2 sat is getting better and better. She has had 3 breathing treatments today and she is now maintaining at 96-97%. Her fever is gone and her heart rate has decreased slightly.
We got a call earlier from Jim "Bubba" Stout saying that him and Cynthia will be on the Channel 3 news in the morning sometime between 6 and 7 to promote the benefit. Also he said the news crew will make a visit to the Elementary School on Thursday to do interviews. Stay tuned! We thank Bubba, Cynthia, and everyone else that have put in so much of their own time and hard work for Briley. Thank you very much!